from the beginning of our journey in amsterdam, cycling became indispensable. both i and my wife like cycling. however, we never had a chance to involve that much before. thanks to the cycling-friendly nature of the netherlands, we are cycling everywhere if it’s within our reach.

i was already cycling, but recently i started to focus more. everything i learned bloomed another set of questions. as a software engineer, i divide and conquer. here is the first set of things that i wonder about most.

while asking these, i started to dream about what can i do if i had enough fitness for cycling. that led me to sightsee and bikepacking. i started to watch different videos on youtube to learn more about them. i discovered global cycling network. they have a lot of very informative videos on their youtube channel. i also watched a couple of youtubers’ videos about backpacking which i liked very much. let me put a couple of them below.

those videos are just the tip of the iceberg. after those will boosts, i decided to talk with one of my friends, bono. he is one of the people that i admire both as a software engineer and as a cyclist. we had a great talk with him. he helped me to clear my mind about most of the topics. he also encouraged me a lot about giving a tryout. here are the answers that i found after my research and talk with bono:

why i’m cycling? why not any other thing?: even though it’s a bit subjective and personal, i see value in sharing it. as a software engineer, i don’t have an active life. at least it doesn’t come up with the job. i had to take purposeful action about it. otherwise, i have to accept a future full of diseases. i tried a couple of different things. but none of them worked except walking. my close circle knows how much i like walking. i even steal my wife’s heart during our long walks between different districts of istanbul. besides that, i’m very picky about the environment that i have while working. i highly value ergonomic equipment and try to include them in my life as much as possible. i’m using stand-up desks for almost five years. every monitor that i bought had an adjustable height future. i’m also using a touchball and ergonomic keyboard. the list goes on. but of course, none of them are enough. so cycling looked like a good addition for me. i was already cycling inside the city for my transportation, groceries, etc. so with a little push, i believe it can be more beneficial.

what do i need to give a start?: i needed to have a bike. but more importantly, i was curious about investing in a road bike. i see them every day. they are fancy, good-looking, fast and a lot expensive. and i also don’t want to use the most common filter on buying decisions. “can i afford it?” is not working for me. thanks to god, i can afford the needs and luxuries in my life. but it doesn’t mean that i should. or those will be beneficial for me. for the people who spend carelessly, i suggest watching in time. it has an unusual perspective on the relation between time and money. so after speaking with bono, i decided to use my swapfiets to see if i like cycling or not. utilising what you already have is one of the best ways to understand your will and needs about almost any subject that you can think.

what is an ideal cycling schedule for a beginner?: it highly fluctuates according to your background. but what matters most is consistency. just pick whatever works for you. don’t compromise your health and fun while doing it. i’m trying to go out almost every day and decided to count everything more than 10 min as a win. i’m trying to be active on weekdays and to include one challenging journey each saturday. which both help me keep up with my goals and let me discover new places in the neighborhood. it’s a win-win for a newcomer like me.

do i need that expensive pieces of equipment? what is the priority for me?: as we already touched briefly, fancy equipment is not helpful if you don’t need it. so decided to plan a small challenging journey for myself and my wife. i thought about what would be the minimum required things for us. we already had bikes and a portable bike pump. i prepared a small bag with the following items: water bottles, extra t-shirts, portable bike pump, since the weather is nice, i didn’t include any umbrellas or ponchos. i didn’t bring food or a bike repairing kit because we were planning to eat outside, and the furthest repair shop was 30 min away inside our route. also, we don’t have any bike repairing kit, so for us, it was acceptable.

but after finishing the challenge, i noticed the need for some additions to that list.

thanks for reading until this point. i’m also considering writing a post about the challenge itself. it will contain all the tips and tricks. but that will be about the place we visit rather than cycling. bare with me. see you soon.